Americans are in the mood again, Walmart concludes after a better-than-expected first quarter. The hypermarket giant is getting ready for "catch-up demand" as people are coming out and are shopping again.
Time to whiten teeth
Walmart exceeded expectations in the first quarter. The hypermarket group saw total sales increase by almost 3 per cent to 138.31 billion dollars (113.23 billion euros), primarily driven by e-commerce growth (+37 per cent in the US and +49 per cent abroad) and growing market share in the grocery market. Although the number of transactions fell by 3.2 per cent, the Covid trend of people buying more at once continues: the average total per receipt increased by 9.5 per cent.
In the US - where the vaccination campaign is advancing rapidly - consumers are clearly looking forward to getting out and shopping again, observes CEO Doug McMillon. People are also preparing to socialise again and even for a life without a mouth mask: items such as bicycles and printers remain popular, but teeth-whitening products, for example, are suddenly flying off the shelves, according to CFO Brett Biggs to CNBC.
The company is already noticing "catch-up demand" and thinks it will continue. Although the US government's stimulus payments have helped, McMillon is encouraged by the footfall and rising market share. Therefore, his optimism is bigger compared to the beginning of the year, and the big-box retailer is raising its forecast for the remainder of the year.
Also, it is interesting that Walmart wants visitors to fill out a short poll on its press page. "Based on this information, do you agree that Walmart is adapting to changing consumer needs?" the question reads. The retail giant is in full transformation and is open to feedback.